Interpreting Politics: Situated Knowledge, India, and the Rudolph Legacy

ISBN : 9780190125011

John Echeverri Gent; Kamal Sadiq
403 Pages
Pub date
Sep 2020
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This book investigates the complex process through which people construct meaning and motivation for political action. Building on Lloyd and Susanne Rudolph's seminal scholarship of India, the contributors to this volume develop the concept of "situated knowledge" to conceptualize people's understandings of their "lived experience" and social scientists' knowledge claims. They show how understanding people's situated knowledge requires analyzing how they are embedded in complex configurations of social relations, time, place, and culture. Similarly, scholarly knowledge claims are embedded in the modes of analysis and methodological techniques that shape their insights. The authors show how "moral imagination" or the capacity to empathize with other people's lives, plays a crucial role in explaining remarkable acts of heroism while their capacity to dehumanize is an important cause of terrorism and genocide. They demonstrate how people's understandings are shaped by ongoing discourses and ideational power. Other contributions illuminate how the mutual constitution of class, status, and culture shape political mobilization in India. The volume offers provocative insights about Indian politics by explaining how political leadership can transform people's understandings in ways that lead to the dramatic transformation of deeply-rooted social and institutional structures.


FOREWORD: Susanne Hoeber Rudolph and Lloyd I. Rudolph: Partners in Political Science and Indian Studies xv
Francis W. Hoeber
I Introduction
1. Politics as Interpretation
John Echeverri-Gent and Kamal Sadiq
II Interpretative Approaches to Political Analysis
2. Situated Knowledge, the Construction of Meaning, and Political Action: A Framework for Interpretative Political Analysis
John Echeverri-Gent and Kamal Sadiq
3. Interpretivism in Motion: Discursive Institutionalism as the Fourth 'New' Institutionalism
Vivien A. Schmidt
4. A Different Way of Seeing Things: The Intellectual Legacy of Lloyd and Susanne Rudolph
Kristen Renwick Monroe
III Caste, Class, and the 'Lived Experience' of Political Mobilization
5. Dominant Castes, from Bullock Capitalists to OBCs? The Impact of Class Differentiation in Rural India
Christophe Jaffrelot and Kalaiyarasan A.
6. Does Class Matter in Politics? Rethinking 'Conditions and Reasons'
Rina Agarwala and Ronald Herring
7. Interpreting the Political Economy of the Indian State: Culture, Inequality, and the Conceptual Possibilities of In Pursuit of Lakshmi
Leela Fernandes
IV Leadership, Social Organization, and Political Change
8. From Gandhi to Modi: Enlisting the Rudolphs to Understand Charismatic Leadership
Amrita Basu
9. In Pursuit of Saraswati: The Politics of Autonomy in the Indian University
Niraja Gopal Jayal
10. Civil-Military Relations and Democratic Stability
Steven I. Wilkinson
11. Centrism, Political Leadership, and the Future of Indian Politics
John Echeverri-Gent and Kamal Sadiq

About the author: 

John Echeverri-Gent is associate professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. He is author of The State and the Poor: Public Policy and Political Development in India and the United States and co-editor of Economic Reform in Three Giants: U.S. Foreign Policy and the USSR, China, and India. His many articles in comparative public policy and the political economy of development have appeared in Perspectives on Politics; PS: Political Science and Politics; World Development; Policy Studies Journal; Asian Survey; Contemporary South Asia; and India Review. He is a member of the editorial board of Political Science Quarterly. He has served as consultant to the World Bank and USAID; ; Kamal Sadiq (PhD, University of Chicago) is associate professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Paper Citizens: How Illegal Immigrants Acquire Citizenship in Developing Countries (2009, repr. 2010). His articles have appeared in International Studies Quarterly, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Asian Perspectives, PS: Political Science & Politics, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the Oxford Handbook of Citizenship, and select edited books. He served as chair of the Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Studies (ENMISA) section of the International Studies Association (2013-15) and as co-president of the Migration and Citizenship section of the American Political Science Association (2015-17). He serves on the editorial board of the journal Citizenship Studies.

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